A home theater is the pride and joy of many enthusiasts. No one likes the chore of keeping a space neat but it’s especially important for cinema rooms. A pristine movie watching space will not only make your film watching experience more enjoyable but will keep your equipment functioning to its fullest capabilities.

In order to keep that A/V equipment running you need to make sure you’re cleaning it the right way or you could damage it.

This guide to cleaning a home theater setup will walk you through all the do’s and don'ts of how to sanitize your media room.

Keeping Your Home Theater Clean

  • Use an air purifier to remove dust from the air
  • Establish a no shoes allowed policy in your home theater
  • Use a Roomba or other robot vacuum to automatically clean your floors
  • If you drop any snacks on the floor, pick them up right away
  • Use a separate duster for electronics and other surfaces to reduce dust contamination in your devices
  • Keep pets out of the room
  • Dust every surface on a regular basis
  • If possible, keep electronics stored in cabinets

Cleaning Projectors

As with every other piece of equipment in a home theater, dust is the enemy of the projector. If you don’t keep your projector clean and dust free it can affect the projected picture, brightness and longevity of your projector. You have to be extra careful when cleaning a home cinema projector so you don’t damage any of the fragile components.


  • Make sure the projector is off and let it cool down for 30 minutes before cleaning
  • Wipe down the outside with a soft, dry lint-free cloth that attracts dust
  • Replace the lens cap when not in use.
  • Use a small vacuum designed for computers or office equipment
  • Gently wipe the vents
  • If possible clean the air filters, but use a soft lens brush or blower to clean the filter so as not to attract more dust
  • Replace the filter if it’s broken or the dust is too difficult to remove
  • Use a lens brush or hand blower to remove dust from the lens
  • Only use lens cleaner as a last resort


  • Don’t use your breath to clean the lens
  • Don’t touch the lens
  • Don’t clean the lens unless it impacts the viewing experience
  • Don’t spray lens cleaner directly on the lens
  • Don’t reuse lens cleaning tissues
  • Don’t use regular tissues
  • Don’t use glass cleaner or harsh chemicals to clean the lens
  • Don’t try to disassemble the projector to clean under the chassis
  • Don’t use a full powered vacuum
  • Don’t use compressed air which can blow dust further into the projector

How Often Should You Clean A Home Theater Projector?

Home theater projectors should be dusted every other week. Clean the projector vents and filters every 3-6 months. Only clean the projector’s lens when it affects your picture quality.

Cleaning Projector Screens

The projector screen is the centerpiece of any home theater design. Because it’s such a large surface your screen is regularly exposed to dirt, dust, damage, and grime. You need to take good care of it to make sure you get the best picture possible. Like the projector, you need to be careful cleaning a projector screen so as not to damage the projection surface.


  • Use compressed air to dust the surface
  • Wear gloves to avoid getting fingerprints and oils on the screen
  • Gently wipe the screen surface from side to side with a dry microfiber cloth. Never scrub!
  • For stubborn marks use a lightly dampened cloth
  • If needed, use a solution of 95% water and 5% dish soap instead of cleaners
  • Fully dry the surface by patting it dry
  • If something gets on the screen clean it right away
  • If you have a retractable screen keep it rolled up
  • Dust the top of the border


  • Never scrub!
  • Don’t use masking tape
  • Don’t use abrasive sponges
  • Don’t use harsh chemicals
  • Don’t air dry
  • If you have an ambient light rejecting screen, don’t touch the screen surface

How Often Should You Clean A Home Cinema Screen?

Most projector screens only need to be cleaned every 3 months or when you notice dust. You can do a deeper clean yearly.

Cleaning Home Theater Speakers

Maintaining home theater speakers is a bit easier than a projection surface because no one is staring at them while they watch a movie. That said, to keep them in tiptop shape and to keep your home theater looking pristine, you want to make sure you clean your surround sound speakers on a regular basis.


  • Wipe away dust from the exterior using dry or damp cloth
  • Wipe the cloth in a circular motion to prevent streaking
  • Clean speaker cones using a small brush with long bristles
  • Carefully remove the speaker grills and vacuum them separately. If you use liquid make sure they are completely dry before reattaching the grills to the speaker
  • Use a lint roller on the grills


  • Don’t use too much liquid when cleaning your speakers. Just use a slightly damp cloth for dusting
  • Don’t use any harsh chemicals
  • Don’t use abrasive cloths
  • Don’t use canned air as it can blow dust and chemicals deeper into the speaker

How Often Should You Clean Speakers?

Home cinema speakers should be dusted monthly with a yearly deep clean.

Cleaning Media Players And Gaming Consoles


  • Use dry or lightly damp cloth to wipe away dust from the surface
  • Blow off dust from your disks before using them with a handheld blower
  • Use Q-tips to clean the seam of the controllers
  • Wash your hands before handling discs


  • Don’t use a compressed air to dust the CD drive as it could push dust further in the device and can leave behind some residue
  • Don’t use your breath to clean off discs
  • Don’t touch discs with your fingers
  • Don’t open up your gaming console or media player to clean it

How Often Should You Clean Media Players And Gaming Consoles?

You can dust the surface of the players and consoles on a monthly basis. You can do a more thorough clean about once a year.

Cleaning A Remote Control

With all the oils on your hands remote controls can quickly become sticky. This is why it’s important to sanitize it regularly.


  • Wipe your hands before touching the buttons on the remote
  • Use a soft brush or paper towel to clean the buttons
  • Use rubbing alcohol to sanitize the remote
  • Use a Q-tip to clean the button edges


  • Don’t use abrasive scrubbers that could rub off the printed text
  • If you have a battery leak use vinegar or lemon juice to neutralize the battery acid

How Often Should You Clean A Remote Control?

Clean your remote control about once a month. If you’re using a touch screen remote you’ll want to wipe it down on a weekly basis.

Cleaning Home Theater Seating

Your home theater chairs have potential to get dirtier than anything else in your movie room. Popcorn and other snacks improve any movie watching experience, but you’re bound to eventually drop crumbs and spill drinks on your seats. They'll also be exposed to small amounts of sweat, hair and dead skin cells that build up over time. So you’ll want to make sure you’re tidying up your home theater seats the right way on a regular basis so you can sit comfortably knowing you’re on a clean surface.


  • Clean up any spills immediately with a dry cloth
  • Repair any tears when they happen
  • Vacuum regularly
  • Lift the cushions to vacuum crumbs
  • Use the hose attachment on your vacuum to get in the cracks
  • Wipe in a circular motion
  • Check manufacturer’s tag for special cleaning instructions
  • Spot test any cleaner before using it on a visible part of the couch or seat


  • Don’t let stains set in
  • Don’t use harsh chemicals
  • Don’t use abrasive scrubbers

Different seats are made of different materials. Each type needs to be cleansed in its own way to prevent damaging it while still being sanitized.

  Do Don’t
  • Use chamois cloth to buff out any scratches
  • Use cleaners made specifically for leather
  • Avoid placing leather seats under direct sunlight or heat sources as this can crack the leather
  • Don't let leather seats air dry
  • Fluff up the fabric using a soft scrub brush
  • Use a steam cleaner for deep cleans
  • Use isopropyl rubbing alcohol to clean stains
  • Don’t brush against the grain
  • Don’t use water to clean microfiber as it could leave water spots
  • If it has a removable cover that’s machine washable do that
  • Spot treat stubborn stains with gentle solutions
  • Allow the couch to air dry
  • Use a steam cleaner for deep cleans
  • Don’t scrub with an abrasive surface
  • Mix mild dish soap with water as a cleaner
  • Gently brush with soft bristle brush or paper towels
  • Clean any soap off with a damp towel
  • Pat dry with a paper towel
  • Don’t let vinyl furniture air dry
  • Avoid harsh chemical cleaners like bleach or ammonia
  • Use coasters for any wood furniture
  • Use a slightly damp cloth to clean stubborn messes
  • Avoid placing wooden seats and stools near heat sources
  • Don’t steam clean wood
  • Mix mild dish soap with water as a cleaner
  • Wipe plastic furniture with a damp cloth or sponge
  • Don’t use steel wool or abrasive brushes which can scratch the plastic

Fabric Upholstery Cleaning Codes

W - Use water based cleaner on this fabric

S - Use a solvent based cleaner (dry clean only)

W/S - Can use water-based or solvent-based cleaners

X - Do not use water or solvent-based cleaners, vacuum or brush clean only

How Often Should You Clean Home Theater Seating?

You should vacuum your seats at least every other week or as needed. Do a more thorough clean every 6 months or so.